7 Extraordinary HDB Designs That Aren’t Your Usual Boxes
Admit it, you are just as tired of today’s BTO flats as we are.
Just think of the cookie-cutter layout that you see over and over again in recent HDB developments. You know the ones with tiny statement walls (that actually don’t make much of a statement), asymmetrical central walkways and boxed-in living rooms.
While that may be the norm these days, it certainly doesn’t mean that your home has to look the same. Just take a look at these 7 HDB homes that truly show what it means to be one-of-a-kind.
1. With open kitchens being all the rage these days, it is not all that uncommon to find them in HDB homes. But what is really unique about this example by Voila is how it makes a chunky island work without sacrificing essential walkway space.
There is even an oven, sink and induction cooktop embedded in the island’s body for the perfect balance between form and function. Meanwhile, the simple and compact dining area fronting the kitchen creates visual contrast when juxtaposed against its bulky neighbour.
Let’s not forget about the bedroom, which aptly demonstrates big thinking in a small space. Here, twin open wardrobes provide a practical walk-in closet solution, in addition to serving as a privacy barrier that shields the sleeping area from prying eyes.
Interior Designer: Voila
2. How do you zone off a living room without building a partition wall? The owners of this Japanese-inspired home came up with a unique answer: create a Zen area.
Built out of soft, pale timbers, this relaxation-corner-on-a-platform perfectly complements – and augments – the tranquil aesthetic of its whitewashed surroundings.
The idea of walling off the kitchen with glass windows is at once practical and stylish too, seeing as to how it finds the middle ground between the airy freedom of open kitchens and the precious privacy of closed-off cooking spaces.
Interior Designer: Weiken.com
3. Much like diamonds in the rough, HDB flats can be transformed into stunning abodes with the right amount of effort.
Completely reworked by Free Space Intent, this resale apartment was designed to tell the heritage story of both owners through its Peranakan shophouse-esque entryway that transitions into a contemporary Western kitchen, complete with industrial-style furniture and rich blue barn panels.
Formerly a bedroom, the living room departs from the norm, seeing as to how it is tucked further into the apartment space instead of being situated at the front. The space can also be sealed off by a set of classic folding doors – a useful feature to have when the owners wish to have some extra peace and quiet.
Interior Designer: Free Space Intent
4. Talk about putting a literal slant on HDB homes. This multi-faceted apartment at Shunfu Road presents a mind-boggling look with its surfaces that are all positioned at an angle.
And while one would reasonably expect some difficulty in making over an interior like this (awkward angles are a nightmare after all), design firm Posh Home managed to make things work with some precise and ingenious space-planning.
In the home-gym-cum-study, a flushed bookshelf proves its usefulness by doubling up as a facade that covers up the room’s sharp corner with a flat plane.
Another example of impressive carpentry can be found in the kitchen where a chevron-shaped counter slots lines up perfectly with an acute gap.
Interior Designer: Posh Home
5. Even if you have sufficient space, the idea of having a living room, study, bedroom and dining area all in the same space is downright impractical. But not for this compact two-room apartment, which skirts the problem completely with moving partitions.
Sliding panels that run along the front and side of the bedroom give the owners the freedom to screen off (or expose) their bedroom as they please, which greatly improves the entire flow of the house.
The entryway closet deserves special mention too. Walling off part of the study to create a cosy play nook, this multipurpose storage fitting also provides a mounting surface for electrical switches – proving the point that good things can come in small packages (read: homes).
Interior Designer: Form & Space
6. Short of building upwards (not possible in an HDB flat) or exposing it, there is probably no physical solution to a low ceiling. But a boring one? There is still hope.
Other than painting (or wallpapering) your headroom for a more vibrant look, you can also create a pitched ‘roof’ just like what the owners of this Sumang Lane flat did for their empty ceiling.
The overhead ceiling structure – which conveniently incorporates lighting – makes the living space feel less cramped thanks to its upwards-pointing beams that create the illusion of added height.
Interior Designer: Edge Interior
7. At first glance, the features of this Punggol Central flat may seem rather odd (what’s with that ‘reception counter’ at the entryway?), but take a closer look and you will find a home that breaks the mould in interesting ways.
For a start, the supposed ‘counter’ is in fact part of a one-of-a-kind cosy corner. Taking the usual place of a bar counter, the monolithic structure provides a dining surface that blends in with the apartment’s cement screed floor and the overall industrial aesthetic.
As for the kitchen and dining area, both spaces are visually linked by a concrete table that is flushed at approximately the same height as the sink. A trio of glass partitions play a similar role by allowing light to travel freely through the two zones, yet keeping things separate by drawing a near-invisible line between them.
Interior Designer: Fifth Avenue Interior
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